SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP)–Truth always emerges from fair debate. In at least 357 schools nationwide April 14, the Truth was given that fair chance.
On that day, over a thousand students participated in the Alliance Defense Fund’s inaugural Day of Truth initiative, which was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and respectfully express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective. It was an excellent start.
For the past several years, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has sponsored their nationwide “Day of Silence” to promote acceptance of homosexual behavior in public schools.
During this year’s event on April 13, kids were told to remain silent and not to talk or even respond to fellow students, teachers and administrators’ questions. According to the Day of Silence handbook (page 13), students also were instructed to “brainstorm a list of all of the people who are likely to stand in your way.” They were told that the list “should include teachers, counselors and administrators” and “peers, relatives, school board members and people in the community” who “have shown intolerance” to the homosexual agenda. The GLSEN guidelines then led participating students to consider these other kids, parents, and neighbors “as, you guessed it, your opponents.”
If that “enemy’s list” sounds more like hostility than “tolerance,” it was. While Day of Truth participants were utilizing their First Amendment rights to share peacefully their message of respect — that God’s love is the ultimate antidote for all detrimental personal and social behavior — in many places these students were met with scorn, intimidation and threats.
At Weaver Academy in Greensborough, N.C., a student who posted Day of Truth flyers on school bulletin boards had her posters defaced by graffiti and her leaflets ripped up and discarded, while the Day of Silence materials were untouched. At Plattsburgh High School in Plattsburgh, N.Y., students were prohibited from posting their Day of Truth flyers, while the Day of Silence was endorsed and encouraged by school officials.
These situations highlight the need for the Day of Truth. For the past few years, many Christian students who have attempted to engage in balanced dialogue and open debate in response to GLSEN’s agenda have been reprimanded or suspended from school. Now, students with a traditional viewpoint can organize and lead their own annual First Amendment exercise, with the legal and moral support of Day of Truth sponsors: the Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dare2Share, and others. Thankfully, free speech can once again be equally secured for all.
The time is urgent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homosexual behavior is the leading cause of the transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus. Through 2003, over 440,000 cases occurred through homosexual sex. While the advocates of homosexual behavior have admitted to specifically targeting public schools as a key part of their overall strategy to change how our society perceives their lifestyle choices, the CDC estimates that at least half of all new HIV infections are among people under age 25.
It is only fair to allow the Christian viewpoint to be heard. Left unchecked, the homosexual advocates’ relentless indoctrination of impressionable schoolchildren has been largely successful. In 2001, Zogby International released a poll that found that 85 percent of high school seniors thought homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children, and over 60 percent thought same-sex “marriage” should be allowed. Even 80 percent of evangelical Christian students supported so-called “hate crimes” legislation, which in its many proposed forms, may well be used to silence religious speech about homosexual behavior.
All sins are wicked in the eyes of God, and we are all sinners in need of the Savior’s grace. The Bible is clear in its condemnation of adultery, false witness, theft and murder, to name just a few. However, no organized activist movement exists worldwide today to legalize and encourage these sins. But there is a mobilized movement that challenges God’s truth on a daily basis with regard to homosexual behavior. That is why the response to the Day of Truth initiative is so important. We look forward to next year’s event and expect that, as word travels, more and more kids will be emboldened, and even more set free, by the Truth.
Mike Johnson is an attorney in the Shreveport, La., office of the Alliance Defense Fund, pro-family religious liberty legal organization based in Arizona, online at www.alliancedefensefund.org